Concern America’s Education Program has helped build a successful and sustainable education system serving indigenous Mayan communities in the remote region of Chiapas, Mexico, currently providing education to 4,000 children and youth, ranging from preschool to high school level grades. With the support and accompaniment of Concern America, the communities created Education Commissions to develop and maintain a school system with a curriculum that incorporates their history, languages, and way of life as indigenous peoples. Education materials are written in the indigenous languages of the region, including Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojolabal, as well as Spanish
In this region where few schools existed prior to the project, only 25% of children and youth in the region reached a fourth grade level of education. Now, with the accessibility of more schools and mandatory attendance, 90% of young people between ages 6 to 16 are attending school; this rate is significantly higher than similar regions in Mexico. Literacy rates have greatly improved, as well as greater comprehension of the materials. Since its initiation 25 years ago, this community-centered, dynamic education system continues to grow, impacting more than 300 communities. To learn more about our work in Education, read this report by Alicia, Concern America’s field volunteer who has accompanied this work for over twenty years, in English or Spanish.